I love making lasagna and have mastered it quite often and in all different ways- regular meat lasagna (yes before I went vegan), vegetarian lasagna, vegan lasagna, pasta-less lasagna and even raw lasagna! So I decided to have a mini vegan get together and I do not know what happened! I guess I got confused with all my lasagnas. I must have had my meat/ whole wheat lasagna hat on when I made my vegan pasta-less lasagna. Hence I cooked it too high and too long. I guess at this point you could call it lasagna soup. It was delicious none-the-less but not of too much substance nor of health for that matter.
So- I did what any determined blogger would do. I made it again and invited more people over. This time.. lol.. I wore my pasta-less/ vegetable lasagna hat.. and didn’t cook it long enough. It was like reverse fear! Oh my God! Take me out of the world of pasta for three years and look what happens! This was easily rectified though. I cooked it longer and there is goes.. a beautiful (vegan) whole wheat vegetable lasagna with daiya cheese (vegan) and all! I of course, made a pasta-less vegan one on the side for me which finally came out good! The key was– longer times with the whole wheat pasta and shorter times for just vegetables. Also zucchini and squash create possibly too much liquid unless you cook them slightly before hand. When using other vegetables like eggplant or sweet potato – be sure to cut them thinly. Spinach and mushrooms also work great.
First things first- you have to make a slamming sauce. This I have mastered from my Grama for sure.. and then my Mom and believe it or not.. my brother too is a great cook! I have ventured away from the meat infused recipes so it’s all about the olive oil, garlic, onions, spices, tomato sauces and letting it cook for a while!
Next up is the pasta cooking. I know they make those ones that just bake in- but where do I find them in whole wheat? Since I do not know, I went ahead with boiling the whole wheat lasagna noodles. While that was cooking, I sliced my vegetables thin. The first time I used eggplant, zucchini and squash- the second: eggplant, spinach and sweet potato. I have a mandolin but I don’t like using it as I almost lost skin a few times. I admit- I must learn how to slice thiner!
Where can you buy daiya cheese and vegan ricotta? Well, daiya is becoming more popular every day – it may even be in your local supermarket. I used the shredded mozzarella version. Vegan ricotta– lol- I wasn’t even sure it existed but it did! I found this at Whole Foods. I will admit though that it almost tasted like a vegan ice cream of some sort. In any case, melted daiya is heavenly and can carry the whole lasagna!
Layering is always fun. Just dive in with the pasta, the vegetables, the sauce and the vegan cheeses! Have fun and watch the lasagna for timing. It should obviously be not too soupy and not too tough!
The final lasagna picture is up top. This one here is the pasta-less vegetable one that could have been layered a little better but was still remarkably delicious!
Enjoy! For the record, here is the raw lasagna recipe from an earlier blog.